Salesforce.com wants more cloud partners. Ron Huddleston, the company's senior vice president of Global ISV and Channel Alliances, made that clear Monday at the Cloud Channel Summit at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif.
"I see the next generation of applications is going to be delivered around the cloud," Huddleston said in a keynote at the event. "And why is the channel critical? Because a third party is critical to deliver this vision."
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To be sure, Salesforce.com already has a broad partner program, with 2,300 people attending its partner day at its Dreamforce event in San Francisco in September. And in April, Salesforce.com unveiled a program to train 1,000 partners and integrators to use its cloud-based applications in the government sector.
But as the company extends its portfolio beyond its on-demand CRM product and related business applications to use collaborative social networks in business with such applications as Chatter -- all accessed from its Force.com cloud platform and through mobile devices -- Huddleston would like to see partners help lead this movement.
"Partners are more important than ever," he said in an interview with CRN after his keynote. "They know the user; they know the business."
"The future of the cloud is about the connected user experience for the enterprise, and the channel is uniquely positioned to deliver that experience with their knowledge of the user. Salesforce.com can provide the technology and the tools."
One solution provider that has bought in to Huddleston's vision is Cloud Sherpas, until earlier this year solely a Google Apps provider. In March, Cloud Sherpas merged with Salesforce.com integrator GlobalOne.
"We are big fans of Salesforce, and we are excited to see them continue to build their mobile solution story and advance the capability of cloud solution providers/brokers to play a larger role in the ecosystem," David Hoff, co-founder and CTO of Cloud Sherpas, wrote in an email to CRN Monday. "As the cloud landscape continues to evolve, we hear customers asking for aggregators like Cloud Sherpas to consolidate a large number of SaaS solutions and provide a single throat to choke for billing, support and ongoing management."
PUBLISHED NOV. 6, 2012